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Kheer, payasa, payasam or phirni is a type of pudding from the Indian subcontinent, made by boiling milk, sugar, and rice, although rice may be substituted with one of the following: bulgur wheat, millet, tapioca, vermicelli, or sweet corn. It is typically flavored with desiccated coconut, cardamom, raisins, saffron, cashews, pistachios, almonds, or other dry fruits and nuts. It is typically served during a meal or as a dessert.[citation needed]

A bowl of kheer
Alternative namesPayasam, Payasa and Ksheeram
Place of originIndia
Region or stateIndia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal
Main ingredientsRice, milk, sugar, cardamom, jaggery, saffron, pistachios or almonds
VariationsBarley kheer, Kaddu ki kheer, paal (milk), payasam, payesh
Food energy
(per serving)
249 kcal kcal


The word kheer is derived from the Sanskrit word for milk, ksheer (क्षीर). Ksheer is also the archaic name for sweet rice pudding.


Kheer was a part of the ancient Indian diet and is mentioned in the Ayurveda.[1][better source needed]

According to the food historian K. T. Achaya, kheer or payas, as it is known in southern India, was a popular dish in ancient India. First mentioned in ancient Indian literature, it was a mixture of rice, milk and sugar, a formula that has endured for over two thousand years. Payas was also a staple Hindu temple food, in particular, and it is served as Prasāda to devotees.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Kheer: The Quintessential Indian Milk Affair". Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  2. ^ "A truly international dessert". Hindustan Times. 3 October 2009.